The Daily Pick

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Uptight about the Moon

Gee whiz, take it easy on Tommy the Tank Engine. Bad Moon Rising points out inconsistencies with the moon from a variety of children's books. And I thought I had too much time on my hands.

1. The cover with its full moon lacks continuity with the story, which has a crescent phase. The moon will not dramatically change phases in the course of one evening. 2. A full moon at midnight in December will appear high in the night sky. 3. A very thin waxing crescent moon suggests the sun has recently set. Such a thin sliver would not be in the December sky at midnight.
posted by The Daily Pick at 5:13 AM | link | 6 comments

Backwards City

This is the kind of thing you'll find on the wonderfully irreverant site Backwards City.

(I love "you'll get paid after we get back." More on this ad here.)
posted by The Daily Pick at 12:48 AM | link | 1 comments

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Mother Stories

The Morning News lists "Types of Stories Told by My Mother." They include: "The Trojan Moral," "Bummer from the Blue," and "The Longest Goodbye."

Your father and I went to the botanical garden last weekend and, on the spur of the moment, invited along your Aunt Kimberly. And while we were driving over there we had the radio on to the local classical station, and the DJ said that the sixth caller would receive four tickets to the Philharmonic. Well, Kimberly had her cell phone with her, so she called and, guess what? We won! So we’re all going to the symphony next Friday. Isn’t that a kick? You know, we don’t have a cell phone, so there’s no way we could have won if Kimberly wasn’t there. I guess that really goes to show the importance of visiting with family.
posted by The Daily Pick at 2:26 AM | link | 0 comments

Top Ten Most Dangerous Animals

This guy is number ten on the top ten most dangerous animals list. They get a little more ferocious as they move up. Check out the Poison Dart Frog and others.
posted by The Daily Pick at 1:04 AM | link | 0 comments

Evil Eyes

You can now order contacts that will give you Evil Eyes.

via Exclamation Mark
posted by The Daily Pick at 1:01 AM | link | 1 comments

Friday, July 29, 2005

Medical Care on the Battlefield

Dr. Robert Dean, currently a clinical fellow in the Urology Department of the University of California San Francisco, served for 12 months as an Army surgeon in Iraq. Along with 32 other physicians, he staffed a 296-bed Combat Support Hospital. Dean shares his experiences as a military soldier and surgeon during wartime.
posted by The Daily Pick at 6:40 AM | link | 0 comments

The Pick-Up System No Girl Can Resist

The LP Picking Up Girls Made Easy is available from Hyde Park Records. You can also listen to it as an MP3. This information on the record is touted "The Pick-Up System No Girl Can Resist!"

via Bibi's Box
posted by The Daily Pick at 5:14 AM | link | 0 comments

New Yorker Covers (Stupid and boring, or hip and refined?)

Personally, I think The New Yorker covers are stupid and boring, and always have been. But The thinks "They are timeless, yet timely. Hip, but refined. They make us laugh and give us pause." The site has a sampling of covers from the last 80 years.
posted by The Daily Pick at 12:43 AM | link | 0 comments

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Oregon National Guard

The Oregonian has been following Oregon National Guard units in Iraq. The newspaper has a terrific 3 part series about the units, their families, and the uncertain role of the Guard in the war. Many past stories and photos on this site. One of the best coverages of American soldiers in Iraq on the web.
posted by The Daily Pick at 6:56 AM | link | 0 comments

Superheroes in History

Notice Robin, behind Reagan and Gorbachev, checking out the fine print of a 1980's missile treaty... It's all part of Superheroes in History, from Something Awful.

Thanks Backwards City!
posted by The Daily Pick at 2:46 AM | link | 0 comments

Three-Headed Ant!

Christine Marci of the City of Newburgh with a three headed black ant that she found climbing on one of her sun flowers she planted in her yard.
posted by The Daily Pick at 12:44 AM | link | 0 comments

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

How Do Other People (and You) see You?

Lots of interesting personality tests this week:

How Do Other People See You?

Which Book are You?

What's Your Blog Personality?
posted by The Daily Pick at 1:46 AM | link | 0 comments


When's the last time I reminded you about the site Drawn!?

Too long I suppose. This site is an illustrator's dream.
posted by The Daily Pick at 1:45 AM | link | 0 comments

The Campus Squirrel Report has an extensive listing of "Squirrel Reports" from university campuses around the U.S.... If your campus is not listed, or if you'd like to add to a current listing, you can email your report in. A sample, from my graduate school, UMass Amherst:

I am a sophomore at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and l just wanted to say the squirrel scene out here is UNREAL. There are so many squirrels out here it would make your head spin. They have nests in the trees and it's not a surprise to see twenty at a time. There's more of them than us. Also we have black squirrels here and that causes quite a stir among the students: some think there is just one and it has super-human powers.

via Grow a Brain
posted by The Daily Pick at 1:26 AM | link | 0 comments

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Albert Martinez's story Goatboy

Yeah! Friend of the Pick Albert Martinez has a great story "Goatboy" featured on this week. Way to go Albert!
posted by The Daily Pick at 12:20 PM | link | 0 comments

From the Archives....

From the Daily Pick Archives:

1. Animal Astronauts Remembered --

2. Worst Children's Book Titles --

3. Tasmanian Devil: The Worst Sound I Have Ever Heard --

4. Zogg, The Cuddly Menace --
posted by The Daily Pick at 12:08 PM | link | 0 comments

I'm a Little Uncomfortable With That Particular George W. Bush Joke

McSweeneys strikes again. This time with a great article: Although I Like a Good George W. Bush Joke As Much as the Next Guy, Some of Them Seem Gratuitous and Mean-Spirited.

Q: What do you get when you cross an elephant and a rhino?

A: I'm not sure, but if the answer is "A cure for Parkinson's disease," then Bush will try to stop scientists from breeding them. Because he likes it when people get Parkinson's.

posted by The Daily Pick at 1:22 AM | link | 0 comments

The Waitress Game

I literally have weekly nightmares like this, but if perhaps you've never worked in the food service industry, now you can, with the online game, The Waitress. Serve food, clean table, receivce verbal abuse from customers. Fun, fun!

via A Welsh View
posted by The Daily Pick at 12:53 AM | link | 0 comments

Monday, July 25, 2005

Bikes of the Future

I don't know how the heck you ride a bike that looks like this, but it's one of the latest in a line from Specialized Venom.
posted by The Daily Pick at 12:43 PM | link | 0 comments

How to Get Rich Slowly

This is a terrific article from Folded How to Get Rich Slowly. Great money-managing advice here.
posted by The Daily Pick at 4:14 AM | link | 0 comments

Growing Up in the Tenderloin

The Sunday edition of the San Francisco Chronicle has an excellent article about children living in the poorest neighborhood of the city: The Tenderloin.
posted by The Daily Pick at 3:12 AM | link | 0 comments

Post Secrets

Post Secrets is updated.
posted by The Daily Pick at 2:41 AM | link | 0 comments

Hippos: How to Adopt Them, How to Ship Them

Owen, a 300kg, one-year-old hippo, was swept down the Sabaki River , into the ocean and then back to shore when the giant waves struck the Kenyan coast. The dehydrated hippo was found by wildlife rangers and taken to the Haller Park animal facility in the port city of Mombasa .

Pining for his lost mother, Owen quickly befriended a giant male Aldabran tortoise named Mzee - Swahili for "old man".

"When we released Owen into the enclosure, he lumbered to the tortoise which has a dark grey colour similar to grown up hippos, Sabine Baer, rehabilitation and ecosystems manager at the park, told Reuters on Thursday. Haller Park ecologist Paula Kahumbu said the pair were now inseparable.After it was swept and lost its mother, the hippo was traumatised. It had to look for something to be a surrogate mother. Fortunately, it landed on the tortoise and established a strong bond. They swim, eat and sleep together, the ecologist added.

Thanks Grow a Brain!

Also, if you want to ship a baby hippo via the United States Postal Service, the USPS actually has some guidelines for you:

You'll need:

Thanks Cynical-C.

posted by The Daily Pick at 1:26 AM | link | 0 comments

Happy Palace = New One Man Safari

One Man Safari is gone!!! Deleted with the stroke of a key. But then Frank had another idea: Why not start Happy Palace? We'll miss you, One Man, but here's to your new incarnation.
posted by The Daily Pick at 12:45 AM | link | 0 comments

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Hardy Boys: Rejected Manuscript

McSweeney's has a wonderful article entitled "Re: Hardy Boys Manuscript," where a Hardy Boys editor replies to an author who submitted a book for consideration.

Page 57: Lighthearted exchanges with family members have always been a staple of the series. We are having trouble, however, with Aunt Gertrude "tying a few on" and playfully commenting that Frank is "a little light in the loafers." On that note, Frank's adamant attempt to persuade Chet Morton that it is entirely normal for boys to skinny-dip together and his persistent requests for help applying sunblock are probably out of bounds. Question: When did Frank develop a lisp?
posted by The Daily Pick at 8:33 AM | link | 1 comments

Neanderthals Get Their Dance On

Neanderthals had their own music. And they danced a lot too. From the BBC.

More about neanderthals and other cave-dwellers here.
posted by The Daily Pick at 4:13 AM | link | 0 comments

Bad Parking

Ha. I like this site. This person works at Yahoo, and is tired of all the poor parkers in the parking lot. So he/she has started a blog, posting photos of the offenders, plus their license plates. The site is called Can't Park.

via Boing Boing
posted by The Daily Pick at 1:03 AM | link | 0 comments

How to Get Website Positioning

A very helpful article from Private Web Designer: How to Get Website Positioning and Rank
posted by The Daily Pick at 12:04 AM | link | 0 comments

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Author's Ally

From the Guardian: The Web is turning out to be an author's best friend.
posted by The Daily Pick at 10:04 AM | link | 0 comments

The Blurb Racket

An article called Blurb Racket shows how movie studios take selective quotes from film reviews.
Sample, concerning The Girl in the Cafe:

Oregonian: "An endearing romantic comedy."

Actual line: "This new offering from HBO Films is at its heart a bit of political propaganda wrapped into an endearing romantic comedy that starts losing its laughs when it gets to Reykjavik and decides its teachable moment has arrived."
posted by The Daily Pick at 8:04 AM | link | 0 comments

Ten Steps to HTML Bliss

Maybe HTML is a non-brainer for you. It's not for me. Ten Steps to HTML Bliss has been a huge help to me. If you need some basics explained, check it out.
posted by The Daily Pick at 1:15 AM | link | 0 comments

Friday, July 22, 2005

Square America Photos

Aww Yeeah! The Boat Lullabies wins The Pick's choice for favorite photo-blog of the week. It's all part of a bigger site called Square America. It's just what it sounds like.
posted by The Daily Pick at 12:05 PM | link | 0 comments

New Blog Links

I've added a number of cool blogs to the link section of The Pick. They include:

Exclamation Mark --

Look at This --

The Presurfer --

Bibi's Box --

Information Junk --
posted by The Daily Pick at 11:43 AM | link | 0 comments

Google Moon

Just in case you haven't seen this everywhere on the web. It's Google Moon Maps.
posted by The Daily Pick at 11:42 AM | link | 0 comments

Information Junk

Information Junk is an excellent blog for a variety of subjects. It also collects some of the best Tour de France photos on the web.
posted by The Daily Pick at 11:42 AM | link | 0 comments

Photographer Amy Walter

I like Amy Walter's photographs. She does a lot of band art, especially for The Wellingtons, and she also has a photoblog called 2042: all photos of Newtown, New South Wales, Australia. Rock on, Amy.
posted by The Daily Pick at 12:32 AM | link | 0 comments

Resting in Peace, from TeleMarketers, Costs a Dollar

The DMA (Direct Marketing Association) has set up a Do Not Call List for dead people. If you want your recently deceased relative's name on it, it'll cost you a dollar.
posted by The Daily Pick at 12:15 AM | link | 0 comments

Songs for Ghouls

The Essential Ghoul's Record Shelf is "a song-by-song tour through pop music's unexpected fascination with the ghastly and supernatural." If there's a song about vampires, zombies, and other undead, then it's likely on this website. Check it out.
posted by The Daily Pick at 12:02 AM | link | 0 comments

Thursday, July 21, 2005

You're Going to Need a Bigger Boat

This is one heck of a big shark, caught off Martha's Vineyard earlier this week. It's not even a great white, it's a tiger shark.
posted by The Daily Pick at 10:04 PM | link | 0 comments

Blogs About Writing

Moby Lives --

Maud Newton --

Bookslut --

The Elegant Variation --

Beatrice --

The Moorish Girl is an excellent literary blog in its own right, and it also has a link page to other literary blogs --


Two other favorites slipped my mind till now:

Book Ninja --

Book Mouth --

posted by The Daily Pick at 10:20 AM | link | 0 comments

Blogger Templates

I was going to link to sites that have cool blogger templates. However, Oliver at the Soft Alien Blog has beaten me to it. Thanks Oliver.

First Off, is A great collection of linkware templates here. There's even a great looking Yahoo! skin that you could use.

At you can find a nice selection of templates. Most of them are quite graphics heavy (And also table based) and as a result a little slow to load, but the actual designs are a;; pretty cool (and certianly original;).

If you visit you will see a really nice range of templates for Blogger. Most of the templates are fairly simple and easily adapted to most needs.

Even the Spiderman site has a whole bunch of templates that you can use for Blogger... It's probabally worth noting that there are 3 Blogger Templates and 3 LiveJournal templates on this site (They don't seem to have copies of each template for each engine, so you'll have to hack around if you'd like to transport them across). have a HUGE selection of templates for your use.
It's mostly linkware for non commercial purposes. Great designs there... has some Awesome templates. And a huge selection too... They need a bit of hacking to work with Blogger, but I can assure you that the end results are worth the time spent.

posted by The Daily Pick at 12:19 AM | link | 1 comments

1966 Vietnam

I stumbled across this photosite while looking for... hmm, I can't even remember. But I definitely wasn't looking for 1966-67 era photographs from the U.S. 82nd artillery division stationed in Vietnam. But that's what I found.
posted by The Daily Pick at 12:04 AM | link | 0 comments

Get Your Surrealism On

Lots of surrealist thumbnails here from Klee, Dali, Magritte, Miro, and Picasso.
posted by The Daily Pick at 12:02 AM | link | 0 comments

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Scotty is Beamed Up. Rest in Peace.

James Doohan, known to millions simply as "Scotty" passed on today at the age of 85. A profile of the character is here. A profile of the person is here. Rest in peace.

Update: Here is a profile from the AP. This is a really interesting read. Mr. Doohan was Canadian, not Scottish, was wounded six times on Juno Beach on D-Day, and had nine children. He never cared much for William Shatner, and never got tired of the line "Beam Me Up, Scotty," a line that was never spoken on the original TV series.

"I'm not tired of it at all," he replied. "Good gracious, it's been said to me for just about 31 years. It's been said to me at 70 miles an hour across four lanes on the freeway. I hear it from just about everybody. It's been fun."
posted by The Daily Pick at 10:09 AM | link | 0 comments

Stone Giants Have Good Hygiene, Contrary to Popular Opinion

I was looking for a photo of a giant. Why? I can't even remember. I look for lots of things. In any case, I stumbled across this site called World of Meln, which is this sort of D&D alternate universe with its own history, population, and lore. Here's the very particular take on the Stone Giant, which should dispell any nasty rumors:

(Note: Commonly giants are assumed to be dirty and filthy creatures wallowing in filthy caves in dirty clothes. That definitely is not the truth. After observing life of some stone giant couple, I noticed them to take good care of their hygiene. Even though I wasn’t able to observe very closely, it seemed that also adobe was kept clean and image of cave having half eaten carrions around didn’t match even close to reality. All refuses were taken to safety distance and in travels they always washed up and refreshed in mountain brooks and ponds.)

Okay, now I remember. I was looking for a Bigfoot image and ran across this site called Giants and Girls. Then I thought I might do a blog about giants. Instead, I put the G&G site into the capable hands of our friend Frank at One Man Safari.
posted by The Daily Pick at 1:27 AM | link | 0 comments

Grow a Brain Attacked by Bees!! (and now, Daily Pick attacked by bees too!)

This is the Grow a Brain site.

This is the Grow a Brain site attacked by bees.

Update: Hanan Levin of Grow a Brain has recovered enough to send the bees over to attack the Daily Pick. Thanks Hanan!
posted by The Daily Pick at 12:38 AM | link | 0 comments, Circa 1995 is ten years old. This is what the site first looked like.
posted by The Daily Pick at 12:27 AM | link | 0 comments

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Murphy, the Fetching Cat, the Cat Who Could Fetch a Sock...

This is Murphy. Owned by Claudia. Trained by Dave. Link sent by Christine. Murphy fetches socks, better than any dog could. Video here. The video gets stuck after about two seconds, but wait another five, and then you'll see the action. Rock on, Murphy.
posted by The Daily Pick at 8:27 PM | link | 0 comments

John Roberts Jr.

Not yet much on the web about John Roberts Jr., who is about to be announced as Bush's Supreme Court Nominee. But an interesting profile from The Legal Times is available here.

Yet those who know Roberts say he, unlike Souter, is a reliable conservative who can be counted on to undermine if not immediately overturn liberal landmarks like abortion rights and affirmative action. Indicators of his true stripes cited by friends include: clerking for Rehnquist, membership in the Federalist Society, laboring in the Ronald Reagan White House counsel's office and at the Justice Department into the Bush years, working with Kenneth Starr among others, and even his lunchtime conversations at Hogan & Hartson. "He is as conservative as you can get," one friend puts it. In short, Roberts may combine the stealth appeal of Souter with the unwavering ideology of Scalia and Thomas.
posted by The Daily Pick at 5:04 PM | link | 2 comments

The Most Beautiful Machine

You push the on button. A mechanical hand comes out of the machine and pushes the off button. The perfect design. Thanks Cynical-C!

"The Most Beautiful Machine" is an idea of Claude E. Shannon, who died in 2001. His "Mathematical Theory of Communication" is the fundament of the digital machine. It's a communication based on the functions ON and OFF. In this special case the observers are supposed to push the ON button. After a while the lid of the trunk opens, a hand comes out and turns off the machine. The trunk closes - that's it!."
posted by The Daily Pick at 9:59 AM | link | 3 comments